Mumbai: Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar stressed on Friday that the talented Indian batting line-up must play leg-spinner Imran Tahir properly in the forthcoming home series against South Africa starting on October 2.
Tahir, known to be a wicket-taking bowler, was recalled to the South African Test side after a gap of nine months. The Proteas will begin their tour with a T20 warm-up game on September 29 in New Delhi. It will be followed by three T20 Internationals (T20I), five one-day internationals (ODIs) and four Test matches.
"AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla are strong players and don't forget Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. When you talk about the googly, Imran Tahir is one of the good bowlers. We have to play against him properly and if possibly he can be one of the leading bowlers," Tendulkar, who was roped in by Oxigen as its brand ambassador told reporters here.
The 42-year-old heaped praise on the entire Indian team, terming them as a fantastic and committed squad.
"I think the Indian team is fantastic. They are extremely talented and committed. A lot of things are said about the players but I know them very closely, and when it comes to cricket there are no shortcuts. The guys are committed and I again say it is a fantastic team," Tendulkar said.
The Bharat Ratna award-winner said besides the three T20Is and five ODIs, he is specially looking forward to witnessing the Test series.
"It will be an exciting series be it Twenty20, One-Day International series and the Test series is something I am looking forward to. Great team balance both sides of the fence. The visiting South African team is a quality side, I never played against a South Africa side which I can say is an okay side. They are always a strong side and it is no different right now," Tendulkar said.
Recalling his memories of South Africa's tour of India in 1991, the batting maestro said: "When South Africa first toured India in 1991, that was incredible experience to play against them, because to see their faces they were shocked to see one lakh spectators at the Eden Gardens. I was extremely happy about that and thought when we are going to tour Africa."
"We did in 1992 end it was an incredible reception there. In Durban we were taken it those days those fancy cars, all the way to the hotel from the airport and which was about 30 km away. I was surprised to see people in roads on both sides greeting us. So that was my first experience of South Africa," Tendulkar said.
The former India captain believes that his performance in the Hero Cup semi-final against South Africa at the iconic Eden Gardens is something he will never forget.
In that match, India scored 195 in 50 overs after batting first. In reply, South Africa managed 193 in 50 overs.
"When you talk about South Africa matches, how can I forget the Hero Cup semi-final, the most incredible match I have been part of. Till the last ball nobody knew what was happening. That was one big and massive experience for me. South Africa is something which always gives you something new," he said.
Speaking about his life post retirement, Tendulkar said: "Life has been busy now and I am enjoying every bit of it. I am being involved in lot of things. This is my second innings off the field and as I always said I continue to bat for India. This gives me a lot of satisfaction."